Dodgers identify Rays’ James Shields as “No. 1 target”


According to Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles the Dodgers are looking to add another veteran starting pitcher with Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly both question marks health-wise, and their “No. 1 target” is Rays right-hander James Shields.

Tampa Bay picked up Shields’ option for 2013, because at $10.25 million it’s a no-brainer, and he’s also under team control for 2014 via $12 million option.

Given their young pitching depth and payroll limitations it wouldn’t be surprising if the Rays are willing to take calls on Shields, but it would be surprising if they’re willing to deal him without getting a ton in return. During the past two seasons Shields has logged 477 innings with a 3.15 ERA and 448/123 K/BB ratio.

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.